August 9, 2005

Muddled and fuddled...

A "journalist" opines on the nuclear age, stupidly I think. 60 years after Hiroshima, America still lives in fear. (Thanks to Orrin)

V-J Day, marking the end of the war, has its 60th anniversary Sunday. But so far, the nuclear commemoration has prompted more attention. Amazingly, of all the horrible genies let out of their bottles during World War II -- from genocide to totalitarianism to German and Japanese aggression -- the threat of nuclear annihilation, ushered in by the United States, seems to have emerged as the most pressing worry for Americans today.

This is the kind of nonsense you get while writing on automatic-pilot (AKA "journalism"). Americans are NOT worried about nuclear annihilation. Nor are we worried about those other things, for obvious reasons...

In honor of the anniversary of the atomic bombings, Time magazine ran gritty portraits of survivors, the shock still etched in their faces. The men and women offered their stories -- how they happened to turn away from the explosion and, therefore, saved themselves from being blinded, for example -- and the magazine soberly recorded their distance from the blast, their proximity to hell.

Oh I see, it's Time that's worried. If they are worried, then America is worried.

These kinds of testimonials are usually reserved for victims of war crimes, and while Time does not make the link directly, it does not completely resist it, either...

Of course they think America is guilty of war crimes. Lefty jackasses always think that.

...An accompanying essay by historian David M. Kennedy notes pointedly that the United States ''crossed a terrifying moral threshold" when it targeted Japanese cities, killing as many as 900,000 civilians in the two atomic bombings combined with fire-bombing raids on Tokyo and other population centers...

Funny how you never hear that Tojo or Saddam or Stalin "crossed a moral threshold." Only America, or Israel.

Most Americans do not question President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bombs, which was largely based on his gut feelings, without any official consideration of longer-term consequences. Truman's first concern was for military victory, and his first responsibility was for the numerous US troops who would have been killed in an invasion of Japan. It is hard to argue with placing those priorities ahead of future arms races and terrorist threats.

Does this loon actually believe that nuclear arms races and terrorism would not have happened? Goofix.

And the nuclear age probably would have come to afflict the world anyway, even if Truman had held back.

Well, doh. Probably? We were already IN the nuclear age, even if journalists couldn't perceive it. We were in it the moment Leo Szilard, crossing a London street in 1938, imagined a nuclear chain reaction.

...Now, with the threat of terrorism paramount in American minds, there is no comfort in having nuclear missiles in the silo.

Oh yes there is. We also have rogue countries like NK and Iran, and maybe China, who CAN be deterred.

No suicide bomber will ever be deterred by the threat of a retaliatory attack. In combating terrorism, nuclear weapons are almost useless to the United States, but a boon for attackers seeking to inflict as much terror as possible.

Actually, they are a last-resort deterrent aginst terror-supporting countries. Could be very useful, if this sort of whining and cringing doesn't convince the world that we are too muddled and self-abasing to use them.

So as the United States considers the 60th anniversary of the nuclear age, it does so with a certain amount of fear and regret. Where once it was accepted without question that the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings brought about the end of the war, new theories abound. The Soviet Union's declaration of war on Japan at the same time as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima convinced Emperor Hirohito that Japan's cause was hopeless, according to some scholars. Others point out that the fire-bombing of Japanese cities actually killed more people than the atomic bombs, making nuclear war unnecessary.

Both new theories are improbable. Japan already knew their cause was hopeless, and had already endured the fire bombings and other massive losses without evident intent to surrender. But "scholars" love anything that makes America look bad.
But this last bit is the real essence of muddled thinking...

But even if the nuclear age shortened World War II, it did not really bring about peace. It only ensured that the world would never achieve the ''freedom from fear" that President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised before the United States entered the war in 1941. Not then. Not today.

This is exactly wrong. The nuclear age instantly ended global conflicts. And ended wars between the great powers. No one expects those things to come back. That's peace, compared to what went before. Moreover today, as Tom Barnett has pointed out, war between nation-states is almost extinct! Most of the violence of our time is within various poor and dysfunctional nations, not between nations. In the developed world we can't even now imagine the total mobilization of WWII, when entire populations were organized for war work, and men were conscripted by the tens-of-millions for battles so large that "armies" were just sub-units within "army-groups."

And it's almost impossible to get most people to focus seriously on the WOT, despite the dangers. Peace, and "freedom from fear" is exactly what we have. Which may not be entirely a good thing.
Posted by John Weidner at August 9, 2005 4:18 PM
Weblog by John Weidner